Supersilent: 12 (Rune Grammofon, 2014)

November 16, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Supersilent: 12

Supersilent: 12

Supersilent is a long-running Norwegian improv supergroup, consisting of Rune Grammofon regulars Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Ståle Storløkken (keyboards) and Helge Sten (“audio virus”). Sten recorded a series of groundbreaking dark ambient albums under the name Deathprod in the ’90s and ’00s, which were collected on an incredible box set in 2004. Since drummer Jarle Vespestad left Supersilent a few years back, the group’s sound has shifted a bit closer to that dark ambient Deathprod sound, but also reminiscent of early pre-arpeggio Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh, as well as other dark eerie soundtrack artists from the ’70s. Some of the group’s earlier albums are sprawling, patience-requiring sessions, but this one is relatively concise, with 13 mostly-short tracks totaling 43 minutes. Generally dark and shadowy and slow-moving, with some theremin-like sounds (as on “12.2”), woozy vibrations and rusty clanging (“12.4”), solitary trumpet (“12.5”, “12.7”), bugged-out distorted organ (“12.6”), and a couple notes of stumbling, murmuring piano (“12.10”). Closing track “12.13” is the longest at nearly 6 minutes, and begins with chaotic synth washes, rumbling, and bell-like tolling, then gets quiet and alien for the second half.

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